Last Harvest: From Cornfield to New Town
In Last Harvest, the award-winning author of Home and A Clearing in the Distance tells the compelling story of New Daleville, a brand-new residential subdivision in rural Pennsylvania. When Witold Rybczynski first heard about New Daleville, it was only a developer's idea, attached to ninety acres of cornfield an hour and a half west of Philadelphia. Over the course of five years, Rybczynski met everyone involved in the transformation of this land -- from the developers, to the community leaders whose approvals they needed, to the home builders and sewage experts and, ultimately, the first families who moved in.
Always eloquent and illuminating, Rybczynski looks at this "neotraditional" project, with its houses built close together to encourage a sense of intimacy and community, and explains the trends in American domestic architecture -- from where we place our kitchens and fences to why our bathrooms get larger every year.
As Publishers Weekly said, "Rybczynski provides historical and cultural perspective in a style reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell, debunking the myth of urban sprawl and explaining American homeowners' preference for single-family dwellings. But Rybczynski also excels at 'the close-up,' John McPhee's method of reporting, where every interview reads like an intimate conversation, and a simple walk down neighborhood sidewalks can reveal a wealth of history."
Last Harvest is a charming must-read for anyone interested in where we live today -- and why -- by one of our most acclaimed and original cultural writers.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JBD1 - LibraryThing
Honestly, I never would have expected to have been particularly interested in a book about the process by which a housing development came to be. But in the hands of Witold Rybczynski, this is a ... Read full review
LAST HARVEST: How a Cornfield Became New DalevilleUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Urban historian and architect Rybczynski (The Perfect House, 2002, etc.) follows the development of empty farmland in Chester County, Penn., into a compact, walkable exurban community of private ... Read full review
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